The FAP Citers comprise the first group that rates the movies for the Luna Awards. Numbering more than a hundred, the 10 Citers of each working guild attended the screening held at the Film Academy office for 15 days.
The first day opened with One True Love, a love triangle among Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera and Iza Calzado. A veteran movie worker has this to say, “Love story lang talaga at nag-capitalize sa casting kaya may dating kahit paano.” For One Night Only, “Palakpakan kami kasi magandang comedy. Actually, sex comedy na nakakatuwa talaga. Entertaining.”
On the second day, Judy Ann Santos’ Ploning left some heads shaking. “Parang hindi ko naintindihan,” complained a director, “nakakahilo ang palitan ng timeline. Hindi ko tuloy nakuha ang istorya. Sumobra na kasi sa flashback.” With Italy, a production designer quipped, “Eh nagpasyal lang sila (laughs). Ang laki ng nagastos dun tapos ganun lang. At saka hindi mo malaman kung sino talaga ang bida kasi hati-hati ang exposure ng cast. Pati sa plot development magulo rin.”
Baler headlined the third day. “Napakaganda ng story, epic talaga,” said a lady scriptwriter. “Kaya lang baligtad yata dahil si Jericho ang half-Spanish tapos si Anne Curtis na talagang mestisa ang ginawang native lass.” With My Best Friend’s Girlfriend which starred Marian Rivera and Richard Gutierrez, a musical director commented, “Wala lang, pakilig lang talaga. Pero wala sa logic yung dialogue ni Marian about not wanting Richard to see her anymore. May mali yata.”
Serbis of Dante Mendoza, recently named Cannes’ Best Director, elicited several remarks on the fourth day. From an aging sound technician, “Grabe ang pagka-bold nito.” A scriptwriter interjected, “Hindi bold yan, porno na yan dahil ang daming frontal nudity nung babae tapos puro homosexuality at may sexual intercourse pa. Paano nakalusot yan sa MTRCB? At bakit rated yan ng CEB?” A director opined, “Irritated ako sa sound pati na sa sobrang likot ng camera.” A respite was provided by Iskul Bukol 20 Years After. “Buti pa ito, nakakalibang kahit medyo corny ang story,” said an assistant director. “Kaya lang expected mo Iskul Bukol tapos kay Vic lang pala nakasentro ang kuwento.”
For The First Time, of KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez, was shown on the fifth day. A lady scriptwriter complained, “Parang exploited naman masyado si KC. Excessive ang halikan nila ni Richard tapos panay pa ang yakap sa kanya.” A film editor added, “Trying hard ang story, maraming wala sa logic. Siguro curious lang ang tao kay KC kaya pinanood yan.” Mylene Dizon’s 100 is a drama.. “Nakaka-depress namang panoorin,” said a musical director, “last 100 days ng isang cancer victim. What is interesting there?” But another film editor opposed, “Ang ganda nga ng istorya eh.”
On the sixth day of screening, it’s My Only You which features Toni Gonzaga and Vhong Navarro. “Puro corny naman ang jokes,” said a veteran musical scorer, “masyado kasing wacky kaya nawawala sa logic.” The film editor who’s fond of opposing said, “Entertaining nga eh.” Baron Geisler headlines Torotot, a sex/tragedy about adultery. “Masagwa ang pagkagawa kasi parang tinitira ang mga fellowship ng Born Again at El Shaddai,” opined a production designer. A humorous scriptwriter offered an explanation, “Baka dahil kalaban ng director ang El Shaddai kasi yung director niyan ay obvious na Dios Ko Day!”
A simple but effective Endo captured the fancy of some audience on the seventh day. “Magandang love story. Sino ba ang writer niyan,” an assistant director asked. A production designer replied, “Si Michiko Yamamoto ang may script.” The assistant director asked again, “Michiko Yamamoto? Pilipino ba yun?” The humorous scriptwriter retorted, “Pinay yun pero nakatira sa abroad, dun sa pinanggalingan ng swine flu.” Laughter followed when everyone realized he meant Mexico. My Big Love, another Toni Gonzaga starrer with Sam Milby and Kristine Hermosa, failed to earn the nod of the viewers. “Masyadong corny ang love story,” chorused several Citers.
The eighth day opened with Pisay, a movie about Philippine Science High School. “Entertaining sa dami ng subplots,” remarked a cinematographer, “ang daming characters na estudyante. Halos lahat nabigyan ng focus.” The musical Concerto is actually a war movie. “Good story sana kaya lang panis na dahil laos na talaga ang war story. Hindi na talaga interesting,” a character actor said.
The ninth day began with When Love Begins. Another headshaking movie. “Eh parang mag-tiyuhin si Aga Muhlach at Anne Curtis,” an unidentified Citer remarked. As for Caregiver of Sharon Cuneta, “puro negative naman ang ipinakita.” The musical director continued, “yung bata, si Makisig, bakit kailangang maging salbahe? Ginawang magnanakaw eh puwede namang maging mabait ang Pinoy sa London, di ba?”
The Citers being served snacks
The animated movie Urduja did not ring a bell on the 10th day. “Historical nga kaso sino ba ang interesado kay Urduja? But in fairness,” said a veteran scriptwriter, “cute yung mga nagsasalitang hayop. A Very Special Love is a nice love story according to several Citers. “Kakaiba kasi ang dating ni Sarah. Pero pag pinalitan yung babae, naku, hindi na kakagatin yan.”
The much-vaunted Tanging Ina Ninyong Lahat was featured on the 11th day of screening. “Sobra naman palang corny yung kay Ai-ai. Eh puro trash ang jokes tapos walang logic ang story. Dahil pinaratangan niya ang vice president, ganun lang, napalaban na siya sa election at naging presidente siya? Grabeng movie yan.” Not one, not two but a number of Citers echoed that sentiment. Magkaibigan succeeded in pinching the tear glands. “Nakakaiyak lalo na kung kilala mo si Daboy,” said a director. “Mukhang written from the heart of Jinggoy yun. Eh siya talaga ang kasama nung mamatay si Daboy.”
On the 12th day, Paupahan caused confusion to the viewers. “Trilogy yata yun na pinagsama-sama. Eh hindi mo nga alam ang connection ni Krista kay Jay Manalo. Tapos andun din si Kuya Germs at Gloria Romero pero wala ring connection kay Krista.” Unlike Urduja, Dayo had hit the target right. “Maganda ang story, very cultural at talagang may values pa. Bagay talaga sa bata,” a director mentioned with positive reference to the animated movie.
Kulam failed in its witchhunt on the 13th day. “Parang hindi kulam eh. Horror nga pero mas bagay na multo o kaya poltergeist,” a production designer remarked. “Parang kumapit lang sa kasikatan ni Juday dahil dalawa pa nga ang character niya.” Desperadas 2 is a nice respite. However, an assistant director was not satisfied, “Parang sumobra naman ang patawa kaya nagparang sira ang ulo nung ibang characters. Pati si Ogie sira rin eh.”
On the 14th day, it was Dobol Trobol of Dolphy and Vic Sotto. A guild president said with a sneer, “Grabe naman ang jokes eh panahon pa ni Dolphy at Panchito. Until now ganun pa rin ang joke ni Dolphy. Wala ba silang gag writer?” Ikaw Pa Rin of Robin Padilla and Ai-ai Delas Alas went the same way. “Corny na rin saka paulit-ulit na rin ang jokes na binitawan dun. Pati script… sabog!”
Shake, Rattle and Roll 10 was reserved for the last day. The episode featuring Marian Rivera who was married to Pekto was more of a comedy than horror. “Bakit Adonis ang pangalan ni Pekto eh hindi naman siya pogi?” That question of a scriptwriter was answered by another scriptwriter, “Hindi naman Adonis ang pangalan ni Pekto kundi Angdungis!”
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